What do your ducks eat? Do you add niacin to their diet?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Rugerman, May 25, 2019.

  1. Rugerman

    Rugerman In the Brooder

    13
    8
    24
    Oct 28, 2017
    We have added 7 baby Khaki Campbell girl ducklings to our farm. They are a happy bunch swimming in the pond all times of the day and night!
    They have a separated fenced in area from the chickens with a pond and grassy area to themselves. They are 10 weeks old now we have been feeding them non medicated baby chick feed. I have been reading that they do not absorb the niacin very well. Do we need to supplement niacin? Them seem to have no health issues looking at them.
     
    casportpony likes this.
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Enlightened

    81,161
    112,898
    1,902
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    I feed my ducklings turkey starter, which contains a lot of niacin, so I don't need to supplement any. You could call the manufacturer of your feed and ask them what the niacin content is. If they say it's 55 ppm, which is 55 mg of niacin per 2.2 pounds of food, then it has enough niacin for most breeds of ducks.

    According to this, ducklings and adult ducks need to be fed a feed that contains 55 ppm niacin.
    https://www.nap.edu/read/2114/chapter/7
    niacin for duck_1.png
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    Pyxis and Jpat like this.
  3. katiebrock

    katiebrock Songster

    123
    274
    116
    Apr 7, 2019
    Milledgeville, Georgia
    I use chick starter and add 1/4 cup of brewer's yeast for each pound of food. It doesn't smell that great, but they seem to be doing really well so far!
     
    DuckyDonna and casportpony like this.
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    No..Not needed at that age . They are getting enough niacin from foraging...:frow
     
  5. Timothy Menezes

    Timothy Menezes Songster

    480
    589
    171
    Nov 27, 2017
    Monterey, California
    I don’t like the brewer yeast option for several reasons.

    1. Yeasts have fairly low amounts of Niacin so you have to feed allot of it just to be sure they have enough and that can dilute the nutritional quality of the feed.

    2. Different yeast strains vary widely in the amount of Niacin they contain. That makes it a guessing game as to how much benifit they are getting.

    I prefer to use a feed that already has enough Niacin in it, or directly supplement actual Niacin so I know for sure that they are getting enough.

    My newest group of ducklings I fed Nutrena’s Meatbird to start as it has more than enough Niacin for Ducklings, broilers, and Turkeys. It has 22% protien which is ideal for starting ducklings.

    Then I blended in Purina flock raiser to switch gradually as I don’t like to switch them to a new to quickly.

    Now that they are nearing adult size, I am giving going down to a 17.5% protien show and grow. To keep their Niacin where I want it, I add BVS poultry start vitamin pack to their water which has the highest amount of Niacin of any vitamin I can find.

    Plus it’s the vitamin pack that Metzer Farms recommends as being ideal for ducks. It $7 a pack from Metzer, but I did a google search for it and got it for $3.50ish a pack from QC Supply. I put 1/2 teaspoon per 3 gallons of water.

    My crested Blue Swedish ducks and KC ducks are gorgeous with supper glossy feathers! They love it when I toss them a few handfuls of the bulk spinach I get from Costco.:wee
     
    Starter Flock and casportpony like this.
  6. DuckyDonna

    DuckyDonna Crowing

    1,765
    5,521
    496
    Aug 26, 2018
    Dallas, Georgia
    I've added extra niacin to food if a problem arises and I've had great results. I believe that @quackiemama and @Pyxis has too. It sure doesn't do any harm.
     
    quackiemama, Pyxis and casportpony like this.
  7. quackiemama

    quackiemama Crowing

    1,065
    3,233
    426
    Dec 26, 2018
    MARYLAND
    Yes I add Nutritional Yeast to their food and have given the B complex to my little runt with the curled up foot. I even add Brewer's Yeast to my dog's food and big duck food a few times a week. Especially with the bigger breeds they sometimes need a little extra oomph! That stuff works wonders.
     
    DuckyDonna and casportpony like this.
  8. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi

    17,925
    34,051
    1,082
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop
    I too feed Naturewise's Meatbird feed and mt ducklings and goslings do really well on it. Because it has enough niacin, I don't have to add any, but were I using a feed made for chicks, I would add some, to be safe. It does no harm to add it, and could prevent possible problems, so why not?

    I would use Nutritional Yeast or a niacin supplement, or as mentioned the Vitamin B Complex that you can buy at TSC and other feed stores. Or, switch them to a feed like the Meatbird feed, and then you'll know it should have enough niacin. Though you do occasionally get some outliers that will need even more niacin than that, since ever bird is an individual.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: